OPPORTUNISTIC thieves have found a new way of churning out ill-gotten profits – by stealing old fashioned milk cans.
The aluminium containers are disappearing at an increasing rate from the farmyards of Mayo.
In the past few weeks there have been reported thefts of cans from farms at Killasser, Swinford, and Ballyheane, near Castlebar.
Now gardaí have warned the containers – which are fetching up to €90 each online or at car boot auctions – are obviously on the hitlist of a certain type of burglar.
The value of the churns has increased of late because of their popularity as receptacles for displaying flowers at weddings.
The containers are also a sought after item by home owners because of their decorative value when painted or have illustrations sketched on them.
Said a senior garda: “We have noticed an increase in the theft of creamery cans from farmyards of late.
“Community alert in all areas where there is farm activity should be extra vigilant.
“A creamery can is something that can be lifted quickly and disappear within seconds into a car boot. Creamery churns made of stainless steel or aluminium pop up regularly at auctions of collectables or online.”
The most popular type of container is the 10-gallon variety but a 20-gallon model is also available.